Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker
Here are some halftime notes:
This is as good as I’ve seen Steelers tailback Rashard Mendenhall run in his year-plus in Pittsburgh. The 2008 first-round pick is seeing the holes really well and putting his shoulder down to gain the tough yards. Mendenhall has 16 carries for 80 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. He also put a big block on blitzing Chargers linebacker Kevin Burnett in the second quarter that was impressive.
Pittsburgh’s offense was dominant right off the bat in the first quarter. The Steelers recorded 144 yards on their first two drives which resulted in 14 early points. Pittsburgh also had nine first downs in the game before the Chargers were able to get their first late in the opening period.
San Diego cornerback Antonio Cromartie is having a tough game so far. The Steelers are throwing a lot in his direction, and he was called for holding receivers on two separate occasions to extend drives. Cromartie was one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL two years ago but struggled mightily in 2008.
This is Pittsburgh’s biggest lead of the season, halftime or otherwise. The Steelers have blown back-to-back leads the past two weeks against the Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals on the road. But Pittsburgh is playing extremely well in front of its home fans, which appears to be making a difference.